Strutt & Parker’s recent Housing Futures survey indicates that 52 per cent of homeowners aged between 70 and 79 are considering moving to a smaller house in the next five years.
It’s a similar story for 39 per cent of homeowners between 60 and 69, and 22 per cent of 50 to 59 year olds.
“There is no doubt that downsizing is a consistent trend,” says Stephanie McMahon, head of research at Strutt & Parker.
“72 per cent of the people we surveyed are planning on moving in the next five years. The UK has a housing shortage, however, we are also a nation of under-occupiers and the move towards smaller homes will stay constant or increase over the coming years as the large group of UK baby boomers move into retirement and beyond.”
According to Prudential, there are over two million downsizers who fi t into the over 55s baby boomers category, often with grown-up children, owning properties worth in excess of £750,000. Rightmove has similarly profi led this generation as equity rich and cash poor, often looking to help family members by freeing up funds. James Mackenzie, head of the Country House Department at Strutt & Parker, comments:
“With the UK economic confidence returning, downsizers are sensing now is a good time to sell after years of hesitating during the recession. Many are ‘My- Sizers’ – those moving house to better suit their evolving needs both in terms of space and finance.”
This fresh stream of property for sale created by downsizers could ease current housing pressures by increasing supply and restricting further house price rises. With average property asking prices remaining static between May and April, this trend may already be in motion. Cameron Ewer, partner at Strutt & Parker’s Cambridge Offce, flags up a property which may be of interest:
“16 Coppice Avenue, Great Shelford (pictured above) is a downsizer’s property that would make an ideal home for a young growing family. It is for sale for £1.3 million and comes with fi ve bedrooms and three reception rooms.”